Why employee ownership?
Based in Emsworth on the South Coast, MindWorks provides integrated marketing, design, events and public relations services to a range of UK and international businesses. Its higher profile clients include Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Suzuki, Ford, Wiggle and the Royal Navy.
MindWorks founder, John Harris-Burland, and his fellow Directors had been working on his exit strategy for some years. He had been approached by companies looking to buy the firm outright, but his goal was to find a way to ensure that the staff that had helped him build the agency would be protected under new management, or be given the opportunity to buy the company themselves. That would mean, at the very least, finding a buyer that would not want to re-locate the business and that shared the same values and work ethics.
When John was introduced to the concept of employee ownership it immediately gave him a solution that would meet all his requirements and reward his employees.
Watch here (click on the white arrow below) how Mindworks achieved their successful transition to employee ownership in their own words, produced by their accountants Rothmans.
How does it work?
MindWorks established an EOT (employee ownership trust) which then purchased John’s shares, at a price based on an independently set valuation. The purchase price will be paid over a period of years and will be funded from the Company’s present and future profits. At the same time, five members of the Company’s senior management team invested in shares in the Company. Giving a hybrid sale.
The EOT is the Company’s controlling shareholder but this does not mean it runs the Company. This continues to be the responsibility of its directors.
Who runs the EOT?
The EOT is run by its trustees. As the beneficiaries of the EOT are the Company’s employees as a whole, the trustees have a duty to act in the best interests of the employees. As well as acting as guardians of the MindWorks values, their role is also to ensure that the Company is well managed, invests in the future, and that surplus profits are shared with employees.
If you would like to explore how employee ownership might be introduced in your company, please contact us for an initial discussion.
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